Illinois region to return to Phase 4; indoor dining, larger gatherings may resume with restrictions

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker smiles as he explains legislation he’s backing to make it easier for taxpayers to locate information about lobbyists, their clients, and campaign contributions, in his Statehouse office, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019. The bill will also create an ethics commission to recommend other ethics measures after a federal bribery complaint against former Rep. Luis Arroyo, D-Chicago. (AP Photo/John O’Connor)

JOLIET, Ill. (WGN) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health have announced that Region 7, which includes the greater Will and Kankakee County areas, will return to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan at 5 p.m. Friday.

According to a press release, the announcement follows weeks of close coordination between IDPH and local health officials.

Region 7 moved to stricter mitigations following three consecutive days of a rolling positivity rate above 8 percent. 

As of Friday, Region 7 has reached the threshold to lift restrictions after three consecutive days of a positivity rate below 6.5 percent, with Friday’s rate at 5.6 percent.

Starting at 5 p.m., indoor dining and bar service can resume along with larger gathering sizes.

“Today, Region 7 – Will and Kankakee Counties – will return to the standard Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan because residents chose to be all in for each other, for their small businesses, for their bars and restaurants, for their kids, for their neighbors,” said Pritzker. 

“Let that be a testament to the power of a community that embraces doctor-recommended mitigations proven to reduce risk and slow the spread. We can’t outrun this virus, but with the tools we know to work – masks, distancing, handwashing, and respect for public health and each other – we can beat it back enough to keep our businesses open and our neighborhoods safer all at once. Don’t let up now, Region 7 – let’s keep this success going.”

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